Open Road Integrated Media announced this morning that they are acquiring E-Reads, one of the early ebook distributors. E-Reads was founded in 1999 by Richard Curtis, and currently distributes 1,200 (mainly mid-list) titles. This acquisition brings Open Road’s catalog to around 5,700 titles, including original works from a number of authors.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Open Road did indicate that it was financed by existing funds, including the $11 million in capital raised last year. Curtis will continue to run E-Reads after the deal is finalized. It’s expected that the tees will be dotted and the eyes crossed by the 1st of April.
This deal is but the latest sign of an industry in flux. Digital publishing has seen any number of high profile mergers over the past few years, including 3M buying txtr in 2011, Penguin getting into bed with Author Solutions in 2012, and Firebrand Technologies acquiring eBook Architects in 2013. And given the heightened state of flux following the decline of the Nook and the end of agency pricing, 2014 promises to be a big year for mergers.